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Fight Against Maturity

Dragon virgin births

news @ nature.com
A nativity story with a twist is playing out this Christmas in two zoos in the UK. At Chester Zoo, a Komodo dragon named Flora awaits the birth of eight babies, and another four dragons have already hatched at London Zoo — each and every one the product of a virgin conception.

The miraculous births, which are all males, could be a product of keeping this threatened species in captivity, say researchers, and could have implications for the continued health of zoo-bound populations.

Parthenogenesis — reproduction without the need for fertilization by a male — is rare in vertebrates. Some animals, including several lizard species, are known to be capable of it. But Komodo dragons have never been seen to breed like this before.

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December 20, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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